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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Australia to protest one-on-one with PM Sogavare over what they term as government meddling

Australia is to send a senior envoy to Honiara this week to deliver a strongly worded protest over possible government meddling in the trial of two MPs charged with instigating the April riots.

The Age newspaper reported that there is serious concern in Canberra about the inquiry into the riots, commissioned by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

The paper reports that Canberra is also concerned at the Prime Minister's insistence that the inquiry must also investigate why the two MPs were arrested. The MPs, Charles Dausabea and Nelson Ne’e, have yet to face trial.

The Age reports if Mr Sogavare has his way, the court proceedings could run parallel to the judicial inquiry examining whether their arrests were designed to eliminate them politically. Both MPs are allies of Mr Sogavare who briefly made them ministers despite their arrests.

The newspaper also reported that there is concern about Mr Sogavare’s plan to sack the Attorney-General, Primo Afeau, because he objected to the investigation into the MPs’ arrests.

Australian officials have previously raised concerns with the Solomon Islands government but have decided to deliver the message more forcefully, directly to Mr Sogavare.

Source: SIBC

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